State and Regional COVID-19 Boating Restrictions

Post written by Becky at Marinas.com, published on April 21, 2020

We’re tracking state-wide COVID-19 updates to help boaters and marinas plan.

Note: This page is currently under construction.

Alabama

Last Updated 4/30/20

Boating access areas remain open. For a complete list, click here.

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California

California – San Diego

The County of San Diego’s Public Health Officer issued a public health order, effective Saturday, April 4, 2020, that prohibits boating for recreational purposes, watersports, or swimming on or in public waterways and at beaches. This order, which reinforces the State and County’s stay-at-home orders, is effective until further notice. Therefore, in support of and in compliance with the County Health order, the Port has closed San Diego Bay to recreation – including boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and recreational fishing – until further notice.

The channel is not closed, but be prepared to be stopped and questioned by Harbor Police. Law enforcement, including Harbor Police, is prepared to issue citations for violations of the State and County stay-at-home orders. Those citations carry a maximum fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail.

Per the State’s stay-at-home order, and consistent with the County of San Diego’s amended public health order, only essential activities are allowed. Water recreation is not considered an essential activity.

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Florida

Miami-Dade County

Last Updated 4/29/20

Marinas, boat launches, docking, fueling marine supply and marina services are open under the limited circumstances: Boating will be allowed from public marinas.

Boats must remain 50ft. apart at all times.

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Connecticut

Last updated 4/30/20

Order extended until May 20, 2020: CT Governor Lamont has authorized the operation of marinas and marine repair facilities.

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New Jersey

Last update: 21 April 2020 2pm

Marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in the tri-state area will be allowed to open for personal use.

The sites may only remain open as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed.

Rentals and chartered watercraft services will not be allowed to open. Restaurants at these sites must be limited to takeout or delivery only.

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Maryland

Last Updated 5/6/20

BOATING

Effective Thursday, May 7, at 7 a.m., recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted, however:

  • Boaters must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

    • No more than 10 people can be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.
  • Boats must be distanced from each other by at least 10 feet and are prohibited from rafting up, beaching, or having rendezvous events.

    • Boats are prohibited from docking at restaurants or bars.
  • Vessel and boat races remain prohibited.

  • Marinas can reopen to recreational boaters, but must adhere to Maryland Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.

  • Pump-out stations and boats may resume operations under the Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.

  • Local jurisdictions may choose to open public boat ramps, but must ensure social distancing guidelines.

  • All normal boating rules and regulations are in effect and must be followed.

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Massachusetts

Last updated 4/30/20

The safe operation of recreational boats is permitted under the following guidelines:

  • Only persons from the same household should be together on a boat at one time.

  • No gathering or groups of persons from multiple households will be permitted on boat ramps, docks, piers etc., and all users shall practice strict social distancing.

  • All recreational crafts shall remain a safe distance apart. Tying boats or other crafts together is prohibited.

  • All recreational boating is subject to the discretion of local officials, harbormasters, and law enforcement.

  • All local rules, regulations, laws and Coast Guard requirements still apply

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Michigan

Last Updated 4/24/20

Boating, including motorized boating, falls within the outdoor activities permitted under the governor’s updated “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order.

Any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a matter “consistent with remaining at least six feet apart from people outside the individual’s household.”

State harbors are closed through at least June 9. There are no services available, including bathroom buildings, electrical, fuel, pumpouts, etc. and no slip reservations can be made.

DNR-managed boating access sites that already were open for the season and remained open during the stay-at-home order will remain open. The addition of various amenities, such as the placement of courtesy piers and the reopening of bathrooms at boating access sites, will begin as staff time and maintenance schedules allow.

Charter and fishing guide operations that involve boats, canoes and other marine vessels are not currently permitted.

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New York

Last updated 4/30/20

Marinas, boatyards, and recreational marine manufacturers, for ongoing marina operations and boat repair/maintenance, where such facilities adhere to strict social distancing and sanitization protocols. Use of such sites for the purposes of personal use or operation of boats or other watercraft is permissible, provided that no establishment offer chartered watercraft services or rentals. Restaurant activity at such sites are limited to take-out or delivery only.

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North Carolina

Last updates 3/27/20

Boating is allowed in certain counties. Prior to going on your planned activity, you should ensure the location is open to the public and the county has not prohibited participation However, the NCWRC recommends that you first verify the location of your planned activity is open to the public and no local emergency orders have been established that could affect your access to a county or municipal area. Individuals must, with the full force and effect of law, comply with all Social Distancing and Mass Gatherings requirements per Executive Order 121.For clarification to determine what activities are and are not allowed, constituents should contact the entity that issued the order. Although the NCWRC promotes outdoor recreational pursuits, they should be done in a manner consistent with CDC social distancing guidelines and in compliance with any applicable Emergency Orders at the municipality, city, county, state and federal level.

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NC - New Hanover County

Last updated 4/14/20

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman, in collaboration with the mayors of the City of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, will extend the county’s existing Stay at Home Order until April 29 at 5 p.m. to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community. In addition to adding two weeks to the county-wide order, some restrictions will be lifted beginning today, April 13, at 5 p.m.

  • Those include: Public and private marinas and boat ramps can be opened

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Ohio

The safe operation of recreational boats is permitted under the following guidelines:

  • Only persons from the same household should be together on a boat at one time.

  • No gathering or groups of persons from multiple households will be permitted on boat ramps, docks, piers etc., and all users shall practice strict social distancing.

  • All recreational crafts shall remain a safe distance apart. Tying boats or other crafts together is prohibited.

  • All recreational boating is subject to the discretion of local officials, harbormasters, and law enforcement.

  • All local rules, regulations, laws and Coast Guard requirements still apply

Oregon

Last updated 3/23/20

  • Follow the Governor’s order on physical distancing. Space out (6-feet or more) and take turns launching and retrieving -and be patient.

  • Maintain a safe distance at a fuel dock or loading up at a marina. After touching a marine gate, fuel pump or other objects frequently touched by others, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. \

  • Families living in the same household can continue to boat as a family. \

  • The CDC is now recommending that everyone wear a **face-covering **in public. Protect yourself and your family before and after your time on the water by wearing a face covering.

  • Expect some facilities to have reduced launch lanes or alternate-space parking closures following social distancing orders to prevent crowding. If a facility has a lot of patrons and if physical distancing can’t be maintained, try again another day.\

  • Paddlers out on the water: it’s good to stick together, but unless you’re all under the same household, maintain a minimum of 6-feet physical distance from others. \

  • Marine law enforcement officers are actively patrolling looking for compliance with existing laws. Follow all statewide and local area rules for equipment, operation, and proximity. At the moment, officers are educating the public about physical distancing measures but have the authority to write citations under the Governor’s order. Give them a hand by **playing it safe **and wearing your life jacket, having the appropriate safety equipment, and communication tools/devices.

The Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) maintains an interactive map of boat ramps that shows the location of Oregon boat ramps and who owns them. OSMB advises users to contact the owners of the ramps to find out whether they are open or closed.

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Rhode Island

Out-of-state owners are not allowed to enter the marina to work on their boat.

Rhode Island – Newport

Boats entering Newport harbor from another state must quarantine for 14 days.

Rhode Island – Block Island

Last updated 4/21/2020

All boaters that come into the Great Salt Pond or into Old Harbor that they will have to quarantine on the water for 14 days, no matter where they have traveled from.

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South Carolina

Last updated 4/30/20

To facilitate authorized outdoor exercise and recreational activities in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 of Executive Order No. 2020-21 (Home or Work Order), as extended by Executive Order No. 2020-23, pursuant to the cited authorities and other applicable law, I hereby determine, order, and direct as follows: A. I hereby modify and amend the provisions of Section 1 of Executive Order No. 2020-16 (Emergency Access Restrictions for Public Beaches and Waters), as extended by Executive Order No. 2020-23, to authorize the managing or operating authority of any public boat ramp or boat landing closed pursuant to Section 1(C) of Executive Order No. 2020-16 to reopen, in whole or in part, any such public boat ramp or boat landing, to include any adjacent or associated public parking lots, effective Friday, April 17, 2020, at 12:00 p.m., for the purpose of launching and retrieving boats on the public waters of this State to facilitate authorized and permissible outdoor exercise and recreational activities in accordance with the provisions of Section 1(E) of Executive Order No. 2020-21, and subject to Executive Order No. 2020-13, for the duration of the State of Emergency, unless otherwise modified, amended, or rescinded by subsequent Order. Public piers, docks, and wharfs providing public access to the public waters of this State shall remain closed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I hereby authorize the managing or operating authority of any public boat ramp or boat landing to close, in whole or in part, or otherwise restrict public access to any such public boat ramp or boat landing, to include any adjacent or associated public parking lots or facilities, if it is determined that such action is necessary to preserve or protect public health. Subject to any additional or supplemental clarification, guidance, rules, regulations, or restrictions issued, provided, or promulgated, or which may be issued, provided, or promulgated, by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”), the beaching or rafting of boats, whether on a sandbar, lakeshore, riverbank, or island, shall remain prohibited for the duration of the State of Emergency. Vessels must remain underway at all times unless exigent circumstances exist. Anchoring to fish is allowed; however, rafting is prohibited under all circumstances. As previously authorized by Section 1(C) of Executive Order No. 2020-16, individuals possessing a current, valid commercial fishing license or permit may continue to utilize or rely upon public piers, docks, wharfs, boat ramps, or boat landings in connection with commercial fishing activities.

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Vermont

Last updated 3/24/20

Under the terms of Gov. Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, Vermonters are encouraged to get outside provided they can do so while meeting social distancing and other guidelines. In addition, to the greatest extent possible, outdoor activities should take place within 10 miles of home to minimize travel and potential risk of exposure to COVID-19. The enforcement order by the Attorney General would not preclude those activities, provided they can take place in ways consistent with the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

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Puerto Rico

Last updated 4/21/2020

Through May 3, 2020:

GENERAL RULES

  1. Island wide lockdown has been extended until May 3, 2020.

  2. Curfew continues to be from 7PM - 5AM. No one can be out on the streets outside of these hours except for essential visits to the supermarket, pharmacy, doctor’s, banks, or to get fuel. (There was an initial rewind back to 9PM - 5AM but it was reverted once again. Official, ongoing lockdown is from 7PM - 5AM)

  3. Supermarkets and grocery stores - Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays). The supermarket and grocery store open until 8:00 at night. Those establishments that do delivery can do so until 10:00 at night. Sundays will be closed, and their tasks will be limited to cleaning, disinfection, and merchandise handling.

  4. Pharmacies - From Monday to Saturday (Sundays, only prescriptions and sale of hygiene items).

  5. Gas Stations - Monday to Saturday (only gasoline and medications on Sundays).

  6. Mechanics, Auto Parts and tire shops - Wednesdays and Thursdays work from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  7. Hardware stores - operate on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. at 5:00 p.m.

MARINA RULES UNTIL May 3, 2020

  1. Recreational boating is prohibited no matter what until lockdown is lifted

  2. Haul out services may be provided granted you have a reservation that dates March 14 or before. Evidence must be provided regarding the reservation date and the vessel must remain hauled out for a minimum of 120 days.

  3. You are allowed to bring your vessel back to a Puerto Rican marina from a jurisdiction other than Puerto Rico if it is your official designated “homeport”

  4. Only commercial fishing and relevant essential authorities are allowed free transit into marinas.

  5. Vessels purchased by Puerto Rican residents before March 14 at other jurisdictions will be allowed into Puerto Rico.

Regarding local recreational vessels at marinas, the following rules will apply:\ 1. No local recreational vessels may depart or arrive for recreational purposes\ 2. Marinas will not constitute ports of entry for vessels coming from other jurisdictions\ 3. Liveaboards may access the marina as long as the vessel has been at the marina before March 14, 2020.\ 4. Commercial fishermen with a valid license will be allowed into marinas\ 5. Marinas may allow recreational vessel owners once a week in the marina but only to inspect its vessel to guarantee mechanical readiness and environmental compliance.\ DRNA has been explicit about the situations in which transient vessels may come into the designated service marinas mentioned below. The situations are:\ -Provisioning in case of low levels of water, food, fuel, or essential articles for your sustenance.\ -Fueling up in order to continue your journey to your final destination.\ -Mechanical or medical emergencies\ Each of these situations comes with a specific protocol. Every situation will be seen on a case by case basis and must be authorized. As soon as the transient vessel finishes its provisioning, fueling, and/or resolves its mechanical/medical emergency, said vessel must depart the marina.

The ONLY marinas allowed to receive vessel traffic under the DRNA rules mentioned above are:\ Marina Pescaderia Puerto Real\ Call:787-717-3638\ Email:[email protected]

Marina Puerto del Rey\ Call:787-860-1000\ Email:[email protected]

Club Náutico de San Juan\ Call:787-722-0177\ If you wish to come to any of these designated Service Marinas you MUST coordinate with the marina beforehand.\ There were issues with transient vessels’ anchorages prior to this new bulletin due to jurisdiction grey areas. Nevertheless, it has been determined that transient vessels may anchor in bays and safe harbors to rest and self-quarantine, following all current ordinances, if they have been cleared by Customs and Border Protection, BUT they may not anchor in any of the natural reserves highlighted in the map included in the images and this link:http://drna.pr.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/NANP_Mapa-1.pdf.\ Transient vessel crew members may NOT go ashore unless it is to any of the designated service marinas listed and for the specific reasons detailed above.

The Bahamas

Last updated 4/30/2020

Prime Minister announced a five-phase plan for reopening the economy.

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Last updated 4/21/2020

The Government of The Bahamas has released official COVID-19 related protocols for foreign and local boats that are currently in the waters of The Bahamas.

The Bahamas Safe Passage Home and Sea Quarantine has been established by the Association of Bahamas Marinas as an orderly way to help boats either remain moored or leave Bahamian waters safely while minimizing the risk of spreading the virus throughout the islands. The program will be in effect until normal border travel is restored. Please note that our program exists within the existing guidelines of the curfew order. Service will NOT be offered on days where a total shutdown has been ordered.

Boaters will be granted safe passage through Bahamian waters provided they observe the requirements of the government protocols.

There are now strategically placed participating marinas through the country available and open to provide vessels with water, provisioning and fuel, provided you have made arrangements with that marina prior to arrival. The program also applies to those crossing through Bahamian waters in order to get back to their country of origin (Right of Innocent Passage). **Pre-approval from the DGC must be granted for this and any other exceptions to the protocols. **Recreational boating from one island to another is strictly prohibited by the government.

Participating Marinas:

For more information on the program, please post questions on The Bahamas, Land & Sea Facebook group page https://www.facebook.com/groups/bahamlandsea.

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